Solicitors and legal professionals seem to be frightened of blogging. Hardly surprising when you consider yours is a profession in which the written word constitutes a trail of evidence. Taking a look at legalese in any form, with its lack of punctuation and its endless clauses, would make anyone afraid of writing a blog: the whole legal profession, after all, has been brought up to believe that any written words that are not couched in legalese are right away suspicious because their meaning can be twisted in a court of law.The ill-fated high profile cases of jurors contacting defendants using Facebook haven’t helped. In the minds of the legal eagles, the social network is unguarded, tricky to control and potentially libellous or prejudicial.
In fact, it’s extremely fruitful ground for law firms, particularly firms looking to break new ground in terms of contact and connection. Law is perfect for blogging, because it’s such a tortuous and mystifying profession to outsiders ” and because expertise in completely different areas is frequently required by your network of associated firms and professionals.The blogosphere makes rapidly rising stars out of genuinely authoritative voices. A viral legal blog can get exponential levels of attention for your company within the law community and its associated professional spheres ” exactly the places you need to cast around for new business.The trick is to write engaging, precise blogs that show you to be an expert in your chosen field. If you are a conveyancing law firm, write authoritative, snappy blogs about current issues in conveyancing. If your area of expertise is divorce law, write the same kind of stuff but for divorce issues.The tone of a legal blog needs careful consideration of course. The blogosphere traditionally responds to opinionated posts, or to posts that display a new angle on a current topic. Neither of these things is beyond the reach of an intelligent lawyer or law firm.Admittedly, opinionated entries swerve slightly in the direction of the content management issues alluded to at the top of this post: if you are nervous about the public image of your firm you are unlikely to want to start spouting strong opinions. That said, as long as you do it intelligently there is no reason why your firm cannot blog in an opinionated fashion about its own area of expertise. An expertly arranged set of opinions or advice pieces can set you apart from the other law firms, as a go-getter with a bit of energy to you.
The mechanics of translating authoritative blog posts into business are pretty simple. Your blogs get attention from complementary firms and businesses, who discover them because you are posting on topic strands that are pertinent to your area of law. The posts spark their interest and so they take a look at your website. Enough posts making sense on current topics and you’ll start a following, which routinely comes to you for help.